When Law Challenges Cohabitation: a Case from the Ethiopian Islamic Activism

This article attempts to explore the place of Ethiopian Muslim’s religious activism, a movement of Ethiopian Islamic elites that claims to engage in a quest for religious equality and dignity. While the movement effort to distance itself from any form of exclusivism and terrorism, it also emphasize that the faithful should abhor laxity in faith – a religious notion that created misunderstanding among ‘others.’ This reform-attempt that considered as ‘extremism’ by opponents both within and outside, making the members, for example, a victim of the ‘Anti-Terrorist Law’ of the land – a paramount example how (secular) law often hardly considers religious thoughts  – the impact of which no doubt would terrorize the citizens and possibly challenge the long cherished togetherness of the Ethiopian people. This paper tries to present main claims and focus of the Ethiopian Muslim’s Reformist activists’ from historical point of view, explore their contemporary emphasis on value of belief and their ‘limited’ involvement for Islamic Reform, as an attempt to forwards discussion on tools in which the Ethiopian lawmakers would consider in an attempt to ‘reform’ the law that targets activism.

Afework Hailu Beyene . The Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology . afework.hailu@gmail.com

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